2017 Homeowner Complaints Minimal Despite Hurricane Harvey and Hailstorms

01/31/2018

In 2017, Texas homeowners suffered significant losses from Hurricane Harvey, severe hailstorms and tornadoes around the state. Despite another year of bad weather, data from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) shows that justified consumer complaints continued to be low. Out of 6.7 million policies, and an estimated 700,000 homeowner claims, the agency recorded just 351 justified complaints. (See chart below)

“Insurance companies dealt with hundreds of thousands of homeowner claims in Texas last year and a fraction of 1% resulted in a justified complaint,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT). “Insurance companies did their best throughout the year to respond to the various weather catastrophes and in the vast majority of cases, provided a prompt and fair response to every claim.”

Hanna said last year’s hailstorm in Odessa was a good example of how insurance companies took care of their homeowners who were hit. Insurance catastrophe teams were quickly mobilized and adjusters were able to pinpoint where the most severe damage occurred.

“On June 14, the city of Odessa was struck with a hailstorm that ICT estimated at $400 million in insured losses. There was not one complaint filed with TDI from homeowners in Odessa and Ector County from this storm,” said Hanna.

Another significant comparison is the number of complaints following Hurricane Harvey compared to Hurricane Ike. The number of complaints to TDI coming from Hurricane Harvey are only a quarter of the number of complaints that Hurricane Ike had generated at this time.

Since a high of 1,702 complaints in 2009, justified homeowner complaints have continued to drop in the succeeding years. In 2016, justified homeowner complaints declined to only 270 complaints in a year in which there was more than $4 billion in homeowner losses from the state’s record hailstorms.

According to TDI, the top three reasons for the small number of justified homeowner complaints last year were delays, customer service and unsatisfactory settlements.

If you think your claim is not being handled properly, you should try working your adjuster and insurance company. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, you can contact TDI’s Consumer Protection Hotline at1-800-252-3439 or online at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/complfrm.html

 

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